Our "In Conversation" series features long-form interviews with visionaries and change-makers

Continuing our focus on the coronavirus pandemic and its intersection with capitalism, in this Conversation, we spoke with London-based economic anthropologist Jason Hickel. Jason in the author of The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and Its Solutions,

Jason’s new book, “Less is More,” is being published in August by Penguin. We spoke with him about international capitalism during the pandemic, new opportunities for degrowth economics, and how to fundamentally move to a post capitalist world — which will take more than just a shift in economic policy, but a fundamental shift from the world view of capitalist thought.

Continuing our focus on the coronavirus pandemic and its intersection with capitalism, in this conversation we speak with Doug Henwood, an economist and host of the radio show and podcast Behind the News. Doug is a regular guest on our show, and in this conversation he helped make sense of much of the economics surrounding the coronavirus, explaining the failure of the government's response, the different possibilities of how we might come out of this pandemic in the long run, and what coronavirus has taught us about the failures of capitalism.

Continuing our focus on the coronavirus pandemic and its intersection with capitalism, in this conversation we speak with New York State Senator, Julia Salazar, who represents New York's 18th district in northern Brooklyn, which includes the neighborhoods of Bushwick, Cyprus Hills, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and East New York. This pandemic has hit New York City harder than any other city in the world, and the neighborhoods represented by Senator Salazar are some of the hardest hit in New York City itself. We spoke with the Senator about how she got into organizing and politics, democratic socialism, feminist economics, and the economics of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s unfortunate that it’s taking a global pandemic to reveal it, but the unprecedented crisis catalyzed by the coronavirus has exposed our capitalist economy for what it is: an economic system that puts profit over people (and the planet).

In this conversation we speak with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed about our current epidemic of insecurity and how it has unfolded through this current crisis. El-Sayed is a doctor, an epidemiologist, a candidate in Michigan’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary election, and the author of "Healing Politics, A Doctor’s Journey Into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic," just out this month (April 2020). Senator Bernie Sanders has referred to El-Sayed as "One of the brightest young stars in the future of the progressive movement."

In recent months, thousands of people from coast to coast have confronted politicians and asked them to take action on climate change. Few of these political leaders seem to be listening, however, and so, in the face of this inaction, and with a renewed sense of urgency, people of all ages and backgrounds have begun taking directly to the streets and participating in mass disruption events in the United States and beyond.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is on the forefront of these actions. XR is a global environmental movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid ecological collapse. Growing out of the United Kingdom in 2018, XR now has an international presence. You may know them through their provocative style of direct action which includes intentional arrests, public swarms, banner drops, die-ins, gluing themselves to prominent structures, and more.

Gail Bradbrook is a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion. We spoke with her in southwest England.

What do an indigenous ceremony in Canada, Burning Man, and an occupied salami factory in Rome have in common? They are all expressions of the gift economy featured in a new documentary by Robin McKenna.

Robin has worked in film for twenty years on several projects, including The Take with Naomi Klein (a film about workers who take over the means of production in Argentina in the wake of an economic collapse). Drawing inspiration from Lewis Hyde’s book, The Gift, Robin McKenna set out to chronicle gift cultures around the world that are challenging the logic of global capitalism. The result is her first feature-length documentary — GIFT, which is out now in theaters across the United States and Canada.

More interviews from our "In Conversation" series